It’s been a huge year for Freezone. The club has competed, grooved, paraded, marched, and played hard this year with so many success stories and accolades. We have hosted two tournaments with our biggest ever entry of teams and seen a wide and varied mix of teams competing across all the major tournamnets. We’ve also established some great relationships with other clubs around the local and international arenas and encouraged a diverse collection of members.
2014 saw the changing of the guard at committee level, with President Boris To moving to Melbourne and Secretary James Sharp moving to New York. Both Boris and James left a legacy of a strong representation of the club at the local, interstate and even international level. We are most grateful for the consistent work that these members have given the club over the years and wish them wonderful success in their new locations and hope they do come back soon.
We also saw two main international events this year with the Regional Asia Pacific OUTGames in Darwin in May and the Gay Games in Cleveland Ohio in August. Freezone was represented at both events with some 3 teams at the GG9 in Cleveland – a fantastic representation at such a significant event. With Gold in the Outgames and a silver in the BB division in GG9, it was a really successful year for Freezone internationally.
At local level, the club has fielded a number of teams across a number of divisions in the local SVNSW State Cup series, regularly placing in the top three positions and gaining significant visibility in this series. SVNSW and the wider volleyball community are now very aware of Freezone Volleyball and we are becoming a solid presence in these tournaments.
Part of this is due to the legacy that Boris To started with the Freezone State Squad Wednesday night trainings. A big thank you must go out to our coaches Bob and Oscar Konakoff who have overseen a development of skills within the club to advance the skills of individuals and teams to be able to compete at this level.
As always, we have also fielded teams in our sister club tournaments the Summer Slams and Winter Whacks of Melbourne Spikers and the FEAST tournament for Adelaide Spikers. Always fun filled trips and great social times, the support of our sister GLBTI clubs remains an important part of the Freezone calendar. Memorable moments include playing the ‘Moles’ in the Winter Whack at Melbourne this year. What a fun game that was and what a great chance to go at it against the strong Womens team.
Manly Cup, BHV Regional Cups, Good Neighbour in Canberra, have all yielded wonderful results for the club and our sister club Kaiata. Its been great to be a part of the local scene and maintaining strong ties with these clubs and our local community. Freezone now has a healthy respect amongst the organisations which is seen in reciprocal support of these clubs at our own tournaments.
A real highlight was this years, Mardi Gras and Spring tournaments. The latter seeing a record 30 teams registered and we could have had more! Our tournaments are attracting teams from all over the state and the nation and its wonderful to see our Qld and ACT teams regularly coming down and competing in our A Grade competition and placing in the medals. These tournaments are a real success of the ongoing support of numerous volunteers and individuals who give up their time and support to ensure the success of the event.
Of course we have to thank our Primary Sponsor ACON who have continued to support the club and the committee in our work to provide a safe and supportive environment for our community and members. We wouldn’t be able to continue with our success without their patronage and support.
Also our tournament sponsors this year who have included TEAMM8 and MECCA ESPRESSO. Their generous donations and financial aid help us to create great events and achieve prominence on a national scale.
The Freezone Volleyball Christmas party and Presentation Night was held on7th December recently and awards were handed out to individuals for their role in helping to make Freezone the great club it is.
Executive Awards (receiving free Freezone Membership and VBNSW membership)
Best Freezoner – Tommy Yap
Tommy always has a welcoming presence and is on hand to any player or team to offer leadership and assistance. He plays across all levels and always encourages a great supportive environment and willingness to participate and encourage.
Most Valuable Player – Clement Thien
Clemente has performed across many teams and tournaments through the year. His personal contribution to any team as a performer is always at the highest personal level. His quiet commitment to the team and to helping all achieve their best play is one of his most valuable assets.
Presidents Award – Jo Wongpitax
Jo Wongpitax has displayed incredible support throughout the year, playing in representative teams and across all levels of the club. His enthusiasm and friendly nature sees him providing a solid personality that welcomes all people into the Freezone family whilst still promoting a competitive and supportive demeanour. Even when injured Jo has continued to support the club with assistance and a healthy friendly demeanour.
Premier Awards (receiving free Freezone Membership for 2015)
Most Improved – Ricardo Farias
Recognises a player’s commitment to training and personal skill development with the determination to improve and advance their ability and game performance.
Best Newbie – Phurin Wongsaeng
Recognises the achievements of an individual to become an inclusive and active member of the club, promoting great play, personal development as well as being an active presence in the club’s activities both on and off the court
Supporters Award – Stuart Mackay
Recognises the contribution of an individual or group in supporting the initiatives and actions of the club over the course of a full year. Consistently being a presence at club events and ensuring the club maintains it’s identity in the community.
For Outstanding Contribution to the Club – Boris To
For his outstanding work as both President and Secretary over the past 5 years, Boris oversaw the expansion of Freezone to be a presence amongst the State League and Local Volleyball community. His initiatives and tireless work to promote the club and advance the skill level of the club via the State Squad has resulted in the club enjoying a wide prominence in 2014 and beyond.
So all that is left to be said is to enjoy the end of 2014. It’s been a mammoth year and we hope to be creating more events in 2015 and continuing the momentum that we have achieved.
Sydney Boys training will resume on Sunday 18th January at 3pm
There will be a special ‘Pre Training’ Session at Sydney University Aquatic Centre on Sunday 11th January at 3pm. There will be two courts available and this will be a hitout for those before we begin our regular training at Sydney Boys.
There will also be a NEW YEARS BBQ BEACH day at Tamarama Beach on the 4th January. Details will follow upon confirmation of council approval.
To all have a wonderful Christmas and New Years and we look forward to an even better 2015.